EDITORIAL: Give Caricom OCC award to Carrington
THE CARIBBEAN Community is currently in the process of looking for a new Secretary General to succeed Edwin Carrington who is retiring at the end of December after serving in that capacity for 18 of his 72 years.
An economist by profession, Carrington has become, over the years, a household name in our community, and beyond, as an outstanding public servant of the Caribbean region.
Already, the new Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has announced that her government “needs the service” of Carrington. The details would be discussed with him following his retirement.
Persad-Bissessar’s People’s Partnership Government (PPG) is yet to come forward with more clarity on commitment to help strengthen CARICOM, now in its 37th year, and this we feel would be forthcoming.
Already, however, she has shown her own awareness of the contributions that Carrington could make to her administration in the process of regional economic integration and functional cooperation
Long located in Trinidad and Tobago, where CARICOM was inaugurated back in 1973, have been some of the very fine nationals of this region whose expertise and commitment have significantly helped the regional economic integration movement – warts and all.
The late William Demas, who had emerged as an elder statesman among the region’s economists during his years of service as CARICOM Secretary General and subsequently president of the Caribbean Development Bank, comes readily to mind for his solid contributions on behalf of this region.
It was, therefore, no surprise when Demas became, along with Guyana’s Shridath Ramphal and St Lucia’s Derek Walcott, one of the first three recipients in 1992 of CARICOM’s highest honour – Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC).
Coincidentally, that was also the year when Edwin Carrington started as CARICOM’s new Secretary General, having earlier served in a similar capacity for the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.
Now, as he prepares to leave the Secretariat, while reaffirming his commitment to regional unity and progress, we feel it would be most appropriate and deserving for Carrington to join CARICOM’s “Hall of Fame” as a recipient of the OCC award.
Since she has been so quick to identify him for recruitment by her government, whatever the capacity, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar for one, would have no difficulties in agreeing with fellow Heads of Government that Carrington should be conferred with the OCC award.
We wish him well in his retirement.